Eagles still looking for first win on the court

Published 4:00 am Monday, January 22, 2007

By BY BRUCE HIXON – sports editor
Andalusia may have lost its No. 1 ranking in Class 4A earlier in the day when this week's state polls were released, but the Bulldogs made sure they would not plummet any farther when they drilled the visiting W.S. Neal Blue Eagles 62-35 Thursday in an Area 2 tilt.
Andalusia, which fell all the way from first to ninth in the rankings, scored the games first 17 points and led by as many as 31, as it stayed on the heels of T.R. Miller in the Area 2 race.
W.S. Neal (2-16 overall and 0-4 in Area) was unable to slow down Andalusia forward Niki Johnson. Johnson had his lowest output of the season Tuesday when he managed only 13 in a loss against T.R. Miller, but rebounded in a big way with 31 points.
Eight of Johnson's points came in the first quarter where Andalusia (12-5 overall and 3-1 in Area) hit seven of its first nine shots en route to a 16-0 lead by the end of the frame.
W.S. Neal did not score until 30 seconds into the second quarter on a bucket by William Shell. That did little to slow down the Bulldogs. Johnson added three more buckets to his first half total, as Andalusia led by as many as 21 points on two occasions. One of those came after a field goal by Jeremy Ferrell late in the half gave the Bulldogs a 29-8 halftime lead.
Johnson poured in another 11 points in the third quarter. In fact, he scored Andalusia's last nine points of the frame and enabled the Bulldogs to widen the lead to 41-17.
Johnson finished up his night with two more buckets and a free throw early in the fourth quarter that upped the gap to 49-22.
The Bulldogs took their biggest lead with just under a minute to go when a field goal by Jeremy Ball doubled the margin to 62-31.
W.S. Neal's junior varsity nearly wiped out a 13-point deficit headed into the fourth quarter before it fell on the short end of a 36-29 decision to the Bulldogs.
Jeremy Alexander paced the Blue Eagles (2-10) with 10 points, while Colby McCorvey added five.
At Andalusia
W.S. Neal 0 8 9 18 - 35
Andalusia 16 13 12 21 - 62
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Bradley 4-0-0-8; Wilson 4-0-0-8; Shell 2-1-0-7; Payne 2-0-1-5; J. Travis 2-0-0-4; Elliott 1-0-0-2; Mickens 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 15-1-2-35)
ANDALUSIA (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) N. Johnson 15-0-1-31; Ferrell 5-0-0-10; Ball 3-0-0-6; Sims 2-0-1-5; Feagin 2-0-0-4; S. Johnson 1-0-1-3; Wright 0-0-2-2; James 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 28-0-6-62)
Junior varsity
W.S. Neal 0 7 10 12 -29
Andalusia 9 9 12 6 - 36
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Alexander 3-1-1-10; McCorvey 2-0-1-5; Sanders 2-0-0-4; Floyd 2-0-0-4; Samuel 0-1-0-3; P. Travis 0-1-0-3 (Totals: 9-3-2-29)
ANDALUSIA (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) O. Curry 5-0-3-13; Flowers 2-0-3-7; Smith 2-0-2-6; J. Curry 2-0-0-4; Culp 1-0-0-2; Wright 1-0-0-2; Barnes 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 14-0-8-36)
WSN falls to Hillcrest
W.S. Neal stayed within striking distance of Hillcrest-Evergreen for a half, but the defending Class 4A state champion Jaguars pulled away in the second half for a 58-27 Class 4A Area 2 victory Tuesday.
The teams were tied at 7-7 through one quarter before Hillcrest edged ahead 20-13 at halftime.
W.S. Neal actually could have been a lot closer than it was at halftime, but missed eight of 14 free throw attempts in the first half and 11 of 20 attempts for the game.
Hillcrest quickly opened up some breathing room in the third quarter, as it outscored the Blue Eagles 20-5 to open up a 40-18 lead and finished things off with an 18-9 scoring advantage in the final quarter.
After W.S. Neal held Riley to just three points in the first half, the Jaguars standout guard contributed eight with a three-pointer in the second half to spark the winners. Holder got loose for a couple of key buckets inside in the third quarter that contributed to the decisive surge.
Jamar Travis led the Blue Eagles with nine points.
Hillcrest ambushed W.S. Neal 68-16 in the junior varsity game. Percy Travis and Jeremy Alexander both scored four points to pace the Blue Eagles.
At W.S. Neal
Hillcrest 7 13 20 18 - 58
W.S. Neal 7 6 5 9 - 27
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) J. Travis 3-0-3-9; Elliott 1-1-0-5; Wilson 0-1-2-5; Mickens 2-0-0-4; Shell 0-0-3-3; Payne 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 6-2-9-27)
HILLCREST (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Riley 2-2-1-11; Holder 5-0-0-10; Thomas 3-0-1-7; Dees 3-0-0-6; Hubert 1-0-4-6; Smith 2-0-0-4; Bryant 1-0-1-3; Richardson 1-0-0-2; Jackson 0-0-2-2; Watson 1-0-0-2; Salter 1-0-0-2; Lee 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 21-2-10-58)
Junior varsity
W.S. Neal 6 4 2 4 - 16
Hillcrest 12 17 20 19 - 68
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) P. Travis 2-0-0-4; Alexander 2-0-0-4; McCorvey 1-0-0-2; Floyd 1-0-0-2; Culliver 0-0-2-2; Hunter 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 7-0-2-16)
HILLCREST (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) William 5-1-0-13; Justin 5-0-0-10; Lyons 2-0-5-9; Xavier 2-0-2-6; Thomas 3-0-0-6; Shannon 3-0-0-6; Lark 2-0-0-4; Malcolm 2-0-0-4; Gross 2-0-0-4; Terrell 2-0-0-4; Stallworth 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 29-1-7-58)

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